Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/204

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tiplicity of queens, that sometimes a third, and even a fourth, emigration takes place from the mother-hive,—the former on the third day after the second, and the latter on the day following. To establish these as separate and independent colonies would be ultimately a loss to the owner,—the swarm or cast itself would do little good, and the parent hive would be impoverished to such a degree as to render it unfit for a winter stock. The third and fourth swarms, therefore, ought to be restored to their original habitation, taking care previously to search for and seize the Queen or Queens, which in these small swarms is not a difficult operation. If the operator is successful in his search, the bees will return of themselves. Even a second swarm is seldom much worth, unless the prime one has been particularly weak, and would be much more productive to the owner, by its continuance in the parent hive. Our fondness for having our apiaries stocked with a great number of hives is apt to make us overlook the disadvantage of having—as we are sure to have by indulging ourselves in this desire—puny stock-hives which give much trouble, and cost a great deal more than they are worth; for in this country, second swarms that come off later than June, seldom do any good, unless they are situated in the immediate neighbourhood of heath, or are transported thither in August or September. He is a wise bee-master, then, who takes but one swarm from each stock; he may, generally speaking, depend on having stronger swarms, and a greater quantity of honey than he would have procured from double the number of